Sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup and packed with fiber-rich oats, nuts and seeds, this clustery chocolate granola recipe never lasts long in our house!
Granola is one of my favorite foods. That's probably obvious to most people because I've shared quite a few granola recipes on the blog over the years, including this Basic Vegan Granola, Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Granola, our favorite crunchy tahini granola, and my sister-in-law's favorite granola recipe.
I love granola because it's crunchy, sweet and makes for a hearty breakfast on its own with some homemade almond milk or is a fun topping for sheet pan pancakes and muffins. Today's chocolate granola recipe is definitely my favorite granola to make! I hope you all love it as much as we do!
Why You'll Love This Recipe!
- If you love chocolate, you'll definitely love this chocolate granola recipe! This chocolate granola has a dark chocolate taste, meaning it's decadent, but not too sweet to eat for breakfast.
- Big crunchy clusters are the best part of granola in my opinion and this chocolate granola is full of clusters!
- This chocolate granola recipe is super adaptable. As long as the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients remains about the same, you should be good to go!
- We think this granola is delicious eaten in so many different ways! We love it dry on its own, paired with chilly non-dairy milk, sprinkled on top of pancakes and smoothie bowls or eaten with tons of fresh fruit in fruit cereal.
- Coconut Oil - I love to bake with coconut oil. It's slightly sweet on its own and tastes amazing in sweet recipes like this chocolate granola recipe.
- Maple Syrup - Maple syrup is a great natural liquid sweetener to use when making granola. It coats all the oats and nuts beautifully and after heating up and cooling it creates a crisp, candied texture.
- Cocoa Powder - Cocoa powder is what makes this granola super chocolatey. I dissolve it with the coconut oil and maple syrup before pouring it over the rolled oats and nuts to make sure that every bite of this granola is super rich and chocoately!
- Rolled Oats - Rolled oats create the best texture of granola in my opinion, so I definitely recommend using rolled oats instead of quick or instant oats.
- Nuts and/or Seeds - You'll need a 1.5 cups of chopped nuts and/or seeds for this recipe. I love to use walnuts, pecans and almonds!
- Coconut Sugar - Coconut sugar is my dry sugar or choice whenever I'm baking, but any other form of dry sugar will work. You could use raw cane sugar or even white sugar.
- Mix-ins - While mix-ins are optional, I love the added texture and flavor they add to this granola. To make this chocolate granola recipe even more decadent, you can sprinkle some dairy-free chocolate chips over top of the granola as it's drying. Or for a more tart contrast, stir in some dried fruit such as craisins or blueberries.
See the recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
- Coconut Oil - If you don't have coconut oil on hand, another kind of neutral-flavored oil will work just fine. Try canola, vegetable or lite olive oil!
- Nuts & Seeds - As long as the amount of chopped nuts and/or seeds equals 1.5 cups, you'll be good to go! I almost always have almond, walnuts and pumpkin seeds on hand, so I usually use a combination of those three. Just make sure you chop up your nuts so that they bake evenly.
- Cocoa Powder - You can substitute the cocoa powder for cacao powder.
- Coconut Sugar - Any kind of dry sugar will work in this recipe. Cane sugar or white sugar would definitely work.
- Rolled Oats - I don't recommend substituting the rolled oats for instant or quick oats, but if you're gluten free, make sure your oats are certified gluten free!
How to Make This Chocolate Granola Recipe
Step 1: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the cocoa powder, maple syrup and coconut oil. Allow the ingredients to warm through until the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk well to combine.
Step 2: While the oil is melting, in a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, from the rolled oats to the sea salt.
Step 3: Pour the melted chocolate mixture overtop of the oat and nut mixture and stir well until all the oats, nuts and seeds have been well coated in the chocolate sauce.
Step 4: Pour the granola onto your lined baking sheet and use a spatula to press it down into an even layer. Bake the granola for 10 minutes at 350F / 175C towards the top of your oven then move the granola to the bottom of the oven and allow it to bake for 8-12 more minutes. If you want big clusters, don't stir the granola!
Step 5: Allow the granola to cool completely on the sheet pan before breaking it into clusters and adding in your mix-ins of choice!
- Include a fat source: I've seen granola recipes that coat their oats, nuts and seeds in low-fat ingredients such as applesauce or mashed banana, but that won't achieve the crispy clusters you desire. You need to include a fat source such as an oil or nut butter.
- Strategic oven positioning: My favorite way to make granola is to bake it at the top of the oven for the first 10 minutes and then, without stirring it, move it to the bottom of the oven and bake it for the rest of the time. I don't stir it half way through and then allow it to cool completely before breaking it into clusters.
- Be patient: As your granola is cooling, the sugars and oil in the granola will harden and stick together creating those oh-so-loved clusters! If you try to stir or store your granola too quickly, you'll prevent those clusters from forming.
This homemade granola, like many other homemade granolas, can be stored at room temperature for up to a month...if it lasts that long! Alternatively, you can also store granola in a freezer-friendly bag in the freezer for around 3 months. Just allow it to come to room temperature before enjoying.
Not all granola is gluten-free, but it's easy to make and find gluten-free granola. Usually granola is made from rolled oats, nuts and seeds which have been coated in a oil and some kind of sweetener. As long as the oats are certified gluten-free or the bag says "gluten-free" on it, you should be good to go!
All you'll need to make granola is a large mixing bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a spatula or spoon to mix everything together, and a baking sheet. A silicone baking mat or parchment paper are also helpful to keep the granola from sticking to your baking dish. For this chocolate granola recipe, I also use a saucepan to melt the coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder together.
Yes, granola is often vegan. However, you will need to watch out for honey as it can often be one of the sweeteners used in store-bought granola. To make vegan granola at home, simply use a liquid sweetener such as maple syrup or agave instead of honey. If purchasing your granola from the store, read the ingredients label to make sure that honey hasn't been used or look for the word "vegan" on the packaging!
There are so many ways to enjoy granola! Some of my favorite ways are with fruit and chilly almond milk, sprinkled on pancakes or smoothie bowls, stirred into pancake or muffin batter, on it's own like trail mix, on top of yogurt or mixed with other cereals.
More Chocolate Breakfast Recipes!
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Dark Chocolate Granola Recipe
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 4 cups rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups nuts and seeds chopped if necessary
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Optional: ½ cup mix-ins chocolate chips, craisins, coconut chips etc.
- Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. Allow the ingredients to warm through until the coconut oil is liquid. Whisk well to combine.
- While the oil is melting, in a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, from the rolled oats to the sea salt.
- Pour the melted chocolate mixture overtop of the oat and nut mixture and stir well until all the oats, nuts and seeds have been well coated in the chocolate sauce.
- Pour the granola onto your lined baking sheet and use a spatula to press it down into an even layer.
- Bake the granola for 10 minutes at the top of your oven. Then, without stirring, move the baking sheet to the bottom half of your oven to bake for another 8-12 minutes. Watch it carefully towards the end to make sure it doesn't burn!
- Allow the granola to cool completely on the sheet pan before breaking it into clusters, adding in your mix-ins, and storing it in an airtight container.
- If you're gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- The key to clustery granola is to not stir it while baking and allow it to cool completely before breaking it into clusters. As it cools, it will harden together into wonderful clusters!